The number of tourists visiting Myanmar's famous tourist site of Shwedagon Pagoda in the former capital of Yangon reached 55,447 in the first three months of 2010, nearly doubled compared with the same period of 2009 which showed 31,113, according to the Board of Trustee of the pagoda Thursday.
During the three months' period, the authorities earned over 277,000 U.S. dollars through entrance fees of 5 U.S. dollars from each foreign visitor.
The monthly tourist arrivals were registered as 20,364 in January, 19,140 in February and 15,943 in March.
During the 11 years starting 1999, the year 2006 topped the largest number of tourists visiting the pagoda with 151,262 whereas the least number of 78,323 was recorded for 2008 which was blamed by the impact of cyclone Nargis, the compiled figures showed.
In 2009, a total of 113,529 foreigners visited the tourist site.
Among the visitors, Asian travelers from Thailand, South Korea, China and Japan were more than those from the United States, Germany, France and Switzerland.
Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's top historical, religious and cultural site, was built 2,500 years ago. The architectural features of the pagoda complex relate the history of Shwedagon as well as the traditions, faith and culture of the Myanmar people.
According to official statistics, tourists arrivals in Myanmar hit 227,400 in 2009, up 25 percent compared with 2008.